Tennessee alleges it incurred at least $225,000 in response costs over site previously owned by Phillips 66, others

By Bree Gonzales | Oct 12, 2018

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) – The state of Tennessee is seeking reimbursement of several hundred thousand dollars it alleges was incurred in response to environmental hazards at a Knoxville site.

State of Tennessee ex rel. Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and Commission of the state's Department of Environment and Conservation Shari Meghreblian, Ph.D. filed a complaint on Aug. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville Division against Phillips 66 Co., American Agricultural Chemical Co., Conoco Inc. and ConocoPhillips Co. citing the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

According to the complaint, the state has incurred at least $225,000 in unreimbursed response costs associated with the Smokey Mountain Smelters Superfund Site in Knoxville. The suit states the site was used from 1922 to 1972 to manufacture fertilizer and from 1979 to 1994 for secondary aluminum smelter operations. 

The suit states samples of waste material taken from the site showed concentrations of cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc.

The plaintiffs hold Phillips 66 Co., American Agricultural Chemical Co., Conoco Inc., and ConocoPhillips Co. responsible because the defendants are allegedly liable as owners and operators of the site during the time of disposal of hazardous substances.

The plaintiffs seek judgment for costs of removal, including enforcement costs and declaratory judgment, that the defendants are liable to the state for further response costs in any subsequent action, including enforcement costs, that are not inconsistent with the National Contingency Plan; and such other relief as the court deems just and proper. They are represented by Slatery, J. Peter Murrey and Wilson S. Buntin of the Office of the Attorney General and Reporter in Nashville.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville Division case number 3:18-cv-00425

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Office of the Attorney General and Reporter State of Tennessee U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Knoxville Division

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